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Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet: Classical Young Guns

by Nate Cavalieri

Cheat Sheet: Classical Young Guns


The past year has seen a crop of excellent releases from the most talked-about rising stars in classical music, a varied set of neo-traditionalists who breathe life into the genre though fiery performances, scandalous outfits and bold programming choices. Astonishingly, none of them are older than 30.

The pianist who might get the most headlines is Lang Lang, whose well-styled programmatic flair has made him classical music's poster child. Using the same bold media-embracing panache of Lang Lang, plenty of other oversized talents have made waves through style and scandal: take the skirt length of Yuja Wang, who gets mentioned as classical music's Lady Gaga, or the Vogue spread by hunky violinist Charlie Siem. Perhaps less hyped but no less revered are gimmick-free recordings from violinists Alina Ibragimova, Arabella Steinbacher, Julia Fischer and Ray Chen.

This Cheat Sheet looks at some of the brightest young names in the classical world, many of whom have the talent and marketing smarts to expand the genre's audiences.